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Do Stoners Come Up With Government-Funded Research Programs?

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Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released his final "Wastebook" this week, outlining what he considered misguided spending by the federal government on things like research programs. Some of the programs sound ridiculous -- a life-size foosball game? But are they ridiculous enough to have been thought up by someone stoned out of his mind?

Jimmy Kimmel seems to think so, as he played a game with his audience Wednesday evening called "Expenditure or Stoner?" Kimmel described a government program included in the Wastebook and asked his audience if they thought it was real or the workings of a weed-addled mind. Of the five programs Kimmel described, only two were made up by the show.

The actual programs Kimmel highlighted included the National Science Foundation-funded $856,000 study of mountain lion energy that had the cats on a treadmill in a lab in California, and a $171,000 study using monkeys to examine the idea of streaks in gambling. The monkeys gambling made the cover of the Wastebook.

Kimmel did up the government with two stoner ideas:

  • A metal foil that can keep mountains cold.
  • A microchip that can read a cat’s emotions.

Let's hope no one from NSF was watching last night and got any ideas.

Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.

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